Everyone loves a beautiful round red apple but that lustrous shine might be a waxy spray on the surface of the fruit. In addition, many vegetables and fruits may contain traces of pesticides or herbicides on their surfaces, applied by the grower to protect the crop from insects or to control weeds. Before eating any raw vegetable or fruit, washing is in order. To remove all traces of chemicals, try making your own vegetable wash with common ingredients.

Things You'll Need

Wash out a new plastic spray bottle with dish soap and warm water before filling it with your vegetable wash. Since plastic absorbs some chemicals, avoid using a spray bottle that previously contained cleaners.

Cut and squeeze a fresh lemon and strain the juice to remove any pulp. Lemon juice is a natural organic cleaner. Add the lemon juice at the rate of 1 tbsp. for every 2 cups of warm water in your spray bottle.

Spray the vegetables with the lemon wash and scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove any lingering residue. Rinse the clean vegetables with water before cooking or eating. Lemon wash is good for potatoes, carrots and other root crops. In addition, use lemon wash on fruits such as apples if you intend to eat the peel.

Make an alternate vegetable wash if you’re out of lemons by substituting white vinegar and using the same ratio. Spray and scrub vegetables in the same way but avoid using the vinegar wash on soft-skinned fruits like peaches and apricots.

Soak vegetables in a salt and vinegar wash for thirty minutes to make sure no bacteria remains on the skins. Use one side of your sink or a small plastic tub if you have only a few vegetables and fill it with just enough warm water to cover them. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of table salt into one quart of water and add ΒΌ cup of white vinegar. The vinegar cleans while the salt loosens deep debris.

Use a diluted bleach wash only on waxy fruits such as apples. Add 1 tbsp. of bleach in 1 quart of water to remove wax and other residue. Make sure the fruit is rinsed thoroughly before consuming.


  • Look for organic vegetables and fruits at your supermarket to reduce the amount of chemicals present on the skin.

  • Peel vegetables or fruits if you still have concerns about their safety.